Interest along the busy Ga. 400 corridor continues to spike after several years of sluggishness, officials say.
David McKee, Dawson County's planning director, said his office has seen building permits and business license applications surge by about 40 percent from a year ago.
"This is definitely positive," he said. "January was by far the busiest month for our office in quite some time."
According to county records, McKee's office issued 11 building permits in December, followed by 30 in January.
Among the confirmed new businesses are a Dunkin Donuts near Ga. 400 and Industrial Park Road and a Dollar General on Hwy. 53 north of Tractor Supply.
Developers for the doughnut eatery plan to be operating by summer, while the discount retailer has set an October opening.
In addition, both McKee and Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County, have confirmed talks on several other potential developments along the corridor.
"Interest has most definitely picked up in the last couple of months," Auvermann said. "There have been a number of properties that are being looked at because the economy is improving."
Auvermann went on to note that he is not at liberty to discuss any potential "private transactions."
"There are other businesses that are looking or have closed on properties, and as soon as those companies are ready to release that info, we will," he said.
McKee also said he could not elaborate on the discussions of any potential or pending developments.
"We know of a couple of people that are looking at a couple of different sites, but no one has submitted anything to us at this point," he said. "But if they do it, they're going to do it quickly."
McKee said he's preparing his staff in anticipation of a continued uptick.
"The point is that this has not happened recently, like it did in January, for quite some time. It's absolutely positive to me," he said.
"I'm trying to get one other staff member certified for inspections, so we'll be ready when it hits."